Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Speeding vehicle kills one, causes widespread injuries at Times Square

Speeding vehicle kills one, causes widespread injuries at Times Square

"People were being hit and rolling off the vehicle", said Josh Duboff, an employee at the adjacent Thomson Reuters headquarters who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck.

A vehicle plowed into pedestrians in the heart of midtown Manhattan's Times Square district around noon Thursday, killing at least one person and injuring at least 22, a senior official told NBC News.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated in a press release that the ordeal is "nothing short of horrific".

The White House says that President Donald Trump has been "made aware" that a auto plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square and that he will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds. Apart from a plethora of stores, broadway theatres and high-rises, Times Square is also home to offices of several financial, entertainment and media firms.

Times Square had previously been the target in attempted attacks, such as in May of 2010 when a Pakistani man placed an alleged auto bomb in an intersection.

The vehicle came to a stop only after slamming into metal stanchions and hurtling into the air, coming to rest on top of the stanchions, flames emerging from its badly damaged front end.

The crash occurred during lunchtime here with hundreds of thousands of people on the street.

The incident brought to mind similar ones across the world, including the terror attack in Nice, France when a large truck plowed through a Bastille Day crowd past year killing over 70 people. In December, a truck had plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring about 50.

The crash happened midday on a hot, clear day that brought large crowds of people into the streets to enjoy the good weather.

Lowe says the driver then got out of his auto and started running until people tackled him.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, the New York Police Department confirmed that an 18-year-old woman has died and 22 people were injured in the crash.

The auto hit a barricade and stopped.

"He just started running until people tackled him down", Lowe said. A police source told AFP that the 26-year-old man driving the vehicle was in custody.

Authorities arrested Richard Rojas, 26, and police sources told Newsday that Rojas made statements indicating "police might shoot him", creating suspicion among investigators that he may have been attempting what authorities term suicide by cop. It was unclear when Rojas, who was in custody, would get a lawyer or face formal charges in court.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism, but the bomb squad has responded as a precaution to check the vehicle.

"Out of an abundance of caution", Mayor Bill de Blasio added.

Around 11:55 a.m., police say a 2009 Honda Accord "mounted" the sidewalk at W. 42nd St. & 7th Avenue, striking a total of 23 people. He was visibly struggling as police officers caught him and dragged him back to a cop vehicle.

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